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headshotEric.jpgBy Adam Overland

In a time of economic downturn, the success of a burgeoning charitable organization might seem unlikely. But University of Minnesota staff member and LearningLife "action figure" Eric Schnell is seeking to turn the tide of generosity, one dollar at a time.

At the U, Schnell is chief administrative and information officer of the Office for Equity and Diversity, whose mission is to infuse the core values of equity and diversity into all aspects of teaching, learning, research, service, and outreach at the University. Schnell devotes much of his spare time to a volunteer fundraising organization he began, called www.PositiveChange.com.

The organization's mission is to alleviate poverty by raising large numbers of small donations. Its core message suggests donating just 99 cents. The money raised through PositiveChange.com is funneled to Keystone Community Services, a nonprofit organization managing three food shelves in St. Paul.